How Coworking Spaces Impact Employee Well-Being

Five reasons for improved employee well-being when working from destinations such as A house

mars 1st 2023

How can we optimize hybrid work policies to profit both employees and employers? Fresh research by Constance Noonan Hadley, Ben Marks, and Sarah Wright suggests that coworking may provide better opportunities for relational job crafting than the office or working from home. 

Results showed that working from a coworking site is more socially fulfilling than working from a traditional office. One primary reason is that a coworking space offer, not just the flexibility employees insist on in terms of where they work, but also the opportunity to customize which other professionals to engage with during the workday.

At A house we work actively with connecting people from different creative industries. The collaborative culture is our reason for being. We believe physical meetings generate feelings of empathy and togetherness that are essential for well-being and creative development. Our niche-strategy constantly reminds us of the advantage to join together innovative people across the creative industries as there is an unbeatable value in the diversity of experiences.

In the recent study “How coworking spaces impact employee well-being”, published in Harvard Business Review, the authors propose five reasons for improved employee well-being when working from destinations such as A house:  

An escape from coworkers

“Avoiding unnecessary interactions with colleagues” was a benefit cited by 52% of survey participants. This may be especially helpful for members of underrepresented populations, who often experience microaggressions and subtle exclusion in the workplace.

A variety of available relationship partners

By nature, coworking sites gather professionals from a wide variety of occupations and companies. As a senior analyst in the U.S. noted, “There’s value in the diversity of experiences there. You meet people that you’d otherwise be unable to at a standard office.” This diversity coupled with independence allows for more choice in partners.

A respite from the competitive and evaluative pressures of the office

Since the “colleagues” of a coworking site have no direct impact on an employee’s performance reputation or rating, it can feel safer to interact with them. As a consultant in the Netherlands wryly commented, “I don’t have to be concerned with every conversation demonstrating my performance and professional growth.”

A set of communally derived norms and enforcement mechanisms

The coworking enthusiasts we spoke to described feeling part of almost a social movement, a communal determination of the culture in which they worked. Most sites establish a coworking code of conduct and hire a community manager to ensure adherence to those ideals.

Pro-relational activity options

Community managers also arrange both formal (e.g., workshops) and informal (e.g., impromptu lunches) activities to facilitate relationship building and professional development. Employees in our survey praised these chances to regularly learn and socialize.

Due to these unique features, coworking spaces offer the opportunity for employees to make the kinds of rich personal connections that can be difficult to achieve in office or home environments. Relational job crafting helps explain why previous research found high levels of thriving among coworking site users.

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